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Mary Burke Baker

Government Affairs Advisor
+1.202.778.9223
Fax +1.202.778.9100

Mary Burke Baker is a government affairs advisor in the Washington, D.C. office. Mary focuses on federal tax matters affecting businesses—including domestic and multi-national corporations and all types of pass-through entities—and individuals. Her practice covers tax policy, tax reform, regulatory and other guidance, tax administration and technical tax issues, with particular emphasis on the OECD and the European Union, accounting methods, energy and medical device issues, and FBAR compliance matters for individuals.

Mary consults with and advises Congressional, Treasury and IRS staff on tax reform and international tax policy issues. She stays abreast of current tax policy developments on the Hill and around the world and keeps clients up-to-date, together with political insights and analysis regarding the significance of these developments. She helps clients assess risks and opportunities in the ever-changing legislative and regulatory environment, and develops and executes strategies to achieve desired legislative and administrative outcomes. She offers technical analysis and drafts comment letters in response to regulatory projects, working groups and other tax policy initiatives. Mary leads the Cash to Accrual Coalition and the Like-kind Exchange Coalition, and serves on the steering committee of the LIFO Coalition. She assists individual taxpayers who are participating in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Compliance Program to comply with FBAR and FATCA filing requirements.

Mary serves on the Board of Directors of the Real Tax Policy Group, which features bi-weekly sessions with top Administration and Congressional tax officials. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Time of Grace, an international media ministry.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mary served for six years with the Senate Committee on Finance. In that position, she managed several major tax bills for Committee Chairman Baucus, including FATCA, international reforms, basis reporting, and credit card reporting; she also worked closely on ACA and economic stimulus provisions, and managed and maintained the revenue offset list. Mary managed committee hearings; oversaw IRS policies, programs, and initiatives; and worked on tax reform measures. She authored many floor statements, opening statements and press releases on behalf of Chairman Baucus concerning corporate, small business and individual tax policy and tax administration matters. She also was responsible for vetting the financial information, including tax documents, for all Administration nominees falling under the jurisdiction of the Senate Finance Committee. During her time with the committee, Mary was featured in Tax Analysts as a congressional staffer influencing tax policy.

Mary also served at the Internal Revenue Service for more than 25 years in a variety of technical and management positions, including large case team coordinator and Manager of the Office of Tax Shelter Analysis. During her time with the Service, Mary materially contributed to numerous IRS guidance documents, including coordinated issue papers and industry director's directives. While at the IRS, she received many performance awards, including District Employee of the Year.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, Real Tax Policy
  • Member, Board of Directors, Time of Grace
  • Member, Tax Coalition
  • Member, The Tax Council
Speaking and Articles
Mary is a frequent contributor to the tax press, and has spoken extensively before business and tax groups, including the Business Roundtable, American Bankers Association, Chamber of Commerce, International Tax Policy Forum, American Council of Life Insurers, Tax Council Policy Institute, Emory Tax Policy Symposium, Federal Bar Association, National Association of Enrolled Agents, IRS Chief Counsel Lecture Series, and IRS Executive Development classes. She represented the IRS during various presentations to international tax groups in the US and abroad.

Mary has authored and co-authored numerous articles and analyses regarding tax policy and tax reform.
  • On behalf of clients, Mary has successfully advocated for legislative changes and helped shape regulatory and other guidance and policies from the US Treasury and the IRS on a variety of issues, including state aid investigations, international tax initiatives, the medical device excise tax, health benefit plans, master limited partnerships, accounting methods, temporary tax provisions and other issues. She has assisted numerous clients to resolve offshore noncompliance issues with the IRS.
  • While at the Senate Finance Committee, Mary managed the development of several major tax provisions, including the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), credit card information reporting and basis reporting of securities transactions. Her extensive portfolio included LIFO inventory, international tax issues and tax administration provisions. She worked on major tax bills, including the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010; Education, Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act (2010); Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010); Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (2010) [HIRE Act]; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008; Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008; Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008; Economic Stimulus Act of 2008; US Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007 [Small Business]; Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 [TIPRA]; Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005; Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005.
  • While at the IRS, Mary managed the IRS Office of Tax Shelter Analysis; IRS technical advisors in the High Technology, Telecommunications, Gaming, Sports, Entertainment and Media industries; the Motor Vehicle Industry program and the Inventory Issue Specialist; and was a large case team coordinator on several multinational corporate examinations. She worked on numerous task forces and special projects, including two IRS modernization teams, industry director's directives, and the retail internal revenue manual.